BANGKOK — As Songkran approaches this Saturday, embassies are releasing videos to show that they’re in the mood for splashing around.
The US, UK, Chinese and Australian embassies are among some of the diplomatic posts that have posted videos wishing Thais and expats alike a Happy Songkran.
The US Embassy’s video went musical, with both farangs and Thais dancing to “Rerng Songkran”. Charge d’Affaires Peter Haymond and his wife Dusadee Haymond then tell Thais to participate in the Rod Naam Dum Hua ritual of honoring elders by pouring water into their hands.
“Wait, Nid, are we elders?” Peter Haymond says before being shushed by Dusadee.
Thailand’s Cultural Ministry also posted a video with ambassadors from 29 countries offering similar well-wishes. Some footage is cut from full-length videos released by larger embassies.
See diplomats from Australia, Bahrain, Cambodia, Canada, China, Sweden, Finland, France, Indonesia, Italy, Germany, Ireland, Israel, Japan, Libya, the Netherlands, Pakistan, Peru, Panama, the Philippines, Poland, South Africa, Sri Lanka, South Korea, the UK, the US, the United Arab Emirates, Switzerland, Uzbekistan deliver their greetings, mostly in Thai.
“Have fun but don’t forget to think of safety!” says a Swedish diplomat. “Feliz Songkran!” says the Panama embassy staff. The Pakistan mission make mini-hearts after offering their greetings.
The UK embassy’s video asks several of their staff what they’re doing for Songkran, with some of the answers marking a very British Songkran.
“I will get wet. Then I’ll watch Manchester United play West Ham United,” the embassy’s political counsellor Simon Lever answers.
Meanwhile the Polish Embassy released a video where their embassy staff sing and dance to “Songkran Tua Thai.”
“Let’s smile together, let’s celebrate together, let’s get wet together!” ambassador Waldemar Dubaniowski says before his staff splash him.
“May you be happy and prosper,” Chinese ambassador Lyu Jian says.
Perhaps the most practical is the Australian Embassy’s video, which advocates safe driving during Songkran, known for its deadly road accidents. During Songkran in 2018, 418 people died, mostly from speeding and drunk driving-related incidents.